VERY CLOSE UP

I have had some fun with my cell phone in the garden:

poppy seedhead

Papaver somniferm

nasturtium

plumbago

Papaver rhoeas

dianthus

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EASTERN CAPE FLOWERS

I am thoroughly enjoying the feast of wild flowers this spring. Not all of them a large or bright. This Crotolaria spp was growing low to the ground or in between rocks – so many of these yellow blossoms that I simply had to bend low for a better look.

While bending low, it was worthwhile photographing the attractive leaves of the Crassula perforata, which seems to be very common in the Fish River Valley of the Eastern Cape – where all of these photographs were taken.

Very eye-catching at the moment are the bright flowers of the Opuntia ficus-indica, otherwise known as the Sweet Prickly Pear, which originates from Mexico. Many South Africans will attest to the desirability of this fruit.

Draping the tops of several shrubs in the area are these attractive pelargoniums.

Although I have Plumbago auriculata growing in my garden, it is wonderful to see these flowers blooming in the wild!

SPRING IN THE GARDEN 2022

My posts are filled with the doom and gloom of the prolonged drought so it is time to showcase some of the bright spots in my spring garden. Although the freesias are almost over now, they brought great joy for their blooms have been more prolific and have lasted for longer than in previous years. Most of them are white and then there are these:

The rosemary bush growing near our front door is covered with flowers – again more than we have been able to enjoy for ever so long. It must be thanks to some of the light rain that fell during the latter part of August:

Plumbago blossoms are always a delight: the first ones are coming out now and so before long there will be masses of these lovely blue flowers in the garden:

We inherited several golden shower creepers with the garden and these thrive with no help from me at all:

This iris is part of a clump given to me by my brother in Gauteng – I love how plants can provide connections between people!

Lastly, even though there are a few more splashes of colour, I must highlight the dianthus seedlings that are showing a new lease of life after the rain:

SIX EASTERN CAPE FLOWERS

A number of wild flowers brighten up the Eastern Cape landscape during the year. A small, yet bright, flower that grows in the grasslands and blooms intermittently throughout the year is the very pretty Jamesbrittenia microphylla, also known as purple phlox:

I count myself fortunate to see examples of Tritonia securigera, or orange tritonia, as they often appear as single blooms with no others nearby:

Indigenous throughout the eastern parts of South Africa is the very beautiful Plumbago auriculata, commonly known simply as plumbago or Cape leadwort. It has become a popular plant for gardens and so it is special to see it growing in the wild:

Then there is the Carpobrotus edulis. one of the many in this family commonly known as sour fig. It blooms during the late winter into the spring:

Flowers I look forward to every winter and never tire of is Aloe ferox, sometimes called bitter aloe. It is one of the most widely distributed aloes and grows well in dry areas – blooming from about May through to August:

Lastly is the very beautiful Schotia brachypetala, known as tree fuchsia or the weeping boer-boon. It generally flowers from spring into early summer:

MY FEBRUARY 2022 GARDEN

Once again the lack of rain coupled with high daily temperatures and a lack of piped water means that even the trees in my garden are shrivelling. During the cooler part of this morning I walked around to photograph things that caught my eye. The first is a pot of Dianthus in different hues of pink. These were planted in December, so have done well.

Flowers such as these really only survive in pots; indigenous flowers such as the Wild Garlic (Tulbaghia violacea), thrive even during the drought.

Hanging over the swimming pool are the beautiful plumbago flowers that are also brightening up the veld during this period of heat and aridity.

Even though it is not an indigenous plant, the Frangipani does not seem to mind the trying weather conditions either. While it is not blooming as profusely as it does during the ‘good’ years, its flowers are always welcome.

Of course most gardens contain a share of spiders. This one was sunning itself in the centre of its web that is almost invisible against the background of the wall.

Lastly, I was rather taken aback to see this rain spider keeping watch over its nest.